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  1. Another BenefitsLink discussion includes some observations about how much or how little help the new Default Electronic Disclosure rule offers if an employer/administrator lacks email addresses for the portion of participants who are severed from employment. A 2002 rule allows electronic delivery if, with other conditions, the employee/participant can access the communications using an email system the employee uses as “an integral part” of the employee’s work for the employer. Under Wednesday’s new rule, there is no such “integral part” condition and an employer-provided electronic address can be enough to invoke the new regime if the employer assigns the address for some employment-related purpose beyond the retirement plan’s communications. A retirement plan’s administrator may continue to rely on such an address (if there is no bounce-back or other operability defect) after a participant’s severance from employment. If an employer/administrator seeks to grow the population of (future) former employees who can remain in the new electronic regime, should an employer assign an email address for every employee? (Imagine an employer tells its employees that human-resources and safety announcements will be sent to employees’ employer-provided email addresses.) What do BenefitsLink people think about whether that way is practical or impractical?
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